Friday, September 9, 2011

Reclaimed Wood Flooring

What is old is new again.
Reclaimed wood from old barns have become the staple in custom homes. They are being used for flooring to mantles, to trusses or even trim, what is old is new again.
Gone are the days when old barns were tore down and burnt on the spot. Now a days old barns are carefully pulled apart and brought to mills, where they are run through the mill and turned into beams and flooring.  Sometimes the beams are left virgin, which is weather worn grey colour and used for timbers and mantles, to give a room that rustic look.
The flooring that is produced from reclaimed wood is completely unique in every way. The floors average an age of 100 years and have been weathered, damaged by animals and attacked by bugs. But hardwood is hard to rot and harder to destroy, so what you end up with is a floor where every board is unique compared to the boards that are laid around it. You will see boards with knocks, cracks and worm holes in them. You will find mortise and tannin joints cut in the floor, scares from axes and hammers, saws and sledgehammers. It’s a floor that is a great thing to have if you think that your floor will take a beating from children, pets or furniture. If you scar the floor you might not even know it, people that see the scar will just think that it has always been there and is part of the uniqueness of it. Most of these floors are installed without any finish, then are coated by hand with 3 or 4 coats of varathane. This allows the home owner to pick the colour, or shade they want and to match the rest of their home. The great thing about these floors is that you can make them any colour you want and because there hardwood, if you ever have severe damage to them, you can have them sanded and refinished to look wonderful again. You can have them sanded and refinished several times giving you the option of keeping these floors for decades and having them look refreshed and new.
The types of wood these floors come in vary considerably. Barns were built with what was available in the local mill and or the closet forest.  I have seen Elm, cherry, beech, maple, iron maple, pine, birch, hemlock, spruce, black ash, white and red oak, apple, douglas fir, alder, chestnut, walnut and cedar. So with a little research you can have almost any type of flooring that you want.
Couple of things that you have to understand if you are thinking about a floor like this:
-          The floor will not be perfect and will not look brand new.
-          You will not have any control of the size, lengths and widths of the boards you receive.
-           You will have no control of the quality of the boards that you receive.
-          There is a lot of waste compared to buying a brand new floor, so you have to order extra material so that you will not run short.
-          You will have to lay the floor with a pattern of widths and sizes, so if you have more 8” boards then 6” boards, then you will have to lay more rows of 8 “.
-          The board widths will come in at least 3 different widths.
-          The floor will have cracks in the boards, other cracks will form over time as the floor shrinks and expands depending on the season and weather.
-          Reclaimed flooring will cost more than normal flooring to buy and it is also more labour intensive to install and sort.
-          If you have new wood material in your home such as trim or sills, you will not be able to have the floor match this.
-          Your floor will be completely unique and will not look like the showroom or any other reclaimed floor that you looked at.
-          Reclaimed floors can be smelly when being cut and installed until they are properly sealed with the finish. This is due to the animals that where in the barn and place the wood was used in the barn.
Reclaimed floors are the ultimate green floor. You are not only reusing a wood product, you are allowing in a lot of cases people to see a species of wood that doesn’t exist in your area anymore.
Reclaimed floors can give your home that sense of warmth and that lived in feel. New floors can come across to a lot of people as cold and sterile.
For people that don’t want their house to look like their neighbours and want it to have something that is unique, there is nothing more unique then reclaimed wood floors. You are guaranteed to have a floor that is not exactly like everyone else’s.
If you are thinking about installing reclaimed wood floors in your existing house, or you want to install them in a new build feel free to look at the pictures at our website
If you have any questions about reclaimed flooring feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders


  1. i LOVE this! it makes a home look soooo homey and rustic! its a beautiful look! we have used this reclaimed wood look for our guest house and its so gorgeous, looks like a small vacation home in the country! we also had a carpet installation which gave it a cozy feel! we are trying to do this again for our other home's den area and these are amazing ideas, thanks for the advice!! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing such informative post.You can have difficulties with installation or maintenance of , as well as the cost linked to wood floors. So be ensure the company you buy from is honest.